JVP DC Metro joins “No US Tax Dollars for Israel” rally
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kristin Szremski, coalition spokeswoman
Seth Morrison, coalition spokesman
Broad coalition set to protest Israeli Prime Minister outside National Building Museum tonight
(WASHINGTON DC 11/09/2015) – An unprecedented coalition of 38 faith-based and social justice organizations and their supporters are set to rally and protest from 5-8 p.m. tonight outside the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, Washington DC.
Bearing the message, “No US Tax Dollars for Israel,” rally goers will be protesting the visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his attempts to secure a massive increase in US foreign military financing and weaponry as an appeasement for the Iran deal, which he vehemently opposed. Mr. Netanyahu is expected to meet with President Barack Obama this morning. Reports indicate the two will discuss an extension of the current $30-billion Memorandum of Understanding in U.S. foreign military aid, which expires in 2017. Some reports place the new MOU at $45 billion over 10 years, beginning in 2018. In addition, the prime minister has stated he is using the trip to repair his relationship with the “American Jewish community.”
Yet, “a growing segment of the American Jewish population is not interested in repairing the relationship until Israel ends the occupation and oppression of Palestinians,” said coalition spokesman Seth Morrison, of the Washington DC chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.
Netanyahu heads arguably the most far-right Israeli government since the country’s inception. He has repeatedly stated in both Hebrew and English-language media that he will not sanction a Palestinian state. From giving orders to shoot Palestinian children accused of throwing stones with live ammunition; to increased settlement construction; the use of administrative detention of Palestinian prisoners, including children; home demolitions and the siege on Gaza, it is clear Netanyahu does not want peace. Continued US military aid and unconditional diplomatic and political support allows Israel to violate international law with impunity.
During the rally, the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank considered to be part of the pro-Israel lobby, will be honoring the Israeli Prime Minister. Protestors, though, are focusing on preventing increased aid to Israel.
“We are a diverse coalition of organizations and supporters who are coming together on international law and human rights,” said coalition spokeswoman Kristin Szremski, media director of American Muslims for Palestine. “American foreign policy coupled with billions of dollars in aid make us complicit in the longest-lasting military occupation in the world. It boggles the mind that in the 21st century, we’re still demanding an end to the occupation of Palestinian lands.”
A program is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Speakers include award-winning journalist and author Max Blumenthal, political analyst Phyllis Bennis, the Rev. Graylan Hagler, Palestinian-American student Mohamed Abou Ghazaleh and Dr. Osama Abuirshaid, editor of Al Meezan newspaper and AMP national policy advisor.
Sponsoring organizations include: American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, American University Students for Justice in Palestine, Baltimore Palestine Solidarity, Code Pink, DC Chapter of Veterans for Peace, Disciples Justice Action Network, Disciples Peace Fellowship, DMV Students for Justice in Palestine, Friends of Sabeel North America, George Mason University Students Against Israeli Apartheid, Georgetown Students for Justice in Palestine, George Washington University Students for Justice in Palestine, Grassroots International, Islamic Circle of North America Council for Social Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace–Baltimore Chapter, Jewish Voice for Peace — DC Metro Chapter, Johns Hopkins Students for Justice in Palestine, Kairos USA, Montgomery Peace Action, Muslim American Society, Muslim American Society – Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, Nonviolence International, Nor Cal Friends of Sabeel, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, Pax Christi DC-Baltimore, Peace House, Peace, Justice, Sustainability Florida, Popular Resistance, Roots Action, Sabeel DC Metro, United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network, University of Maryland College Park Students for Justice in Palestine, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, US Palestinian Community Network DC,WarIsACrime.org, Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace, World Beyond War.